Inheritance Tax in Ireland

Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) is also known as Inheritance Tax in Ireland or Gift Tax.
This is a tax that is charged on money or property that is gifted to, or inherited by someone.
The tax applies to all property that is located in Ireland. It also applies where the property is not located in Ireland but either the person giving the benefit or the person receiving it are resident or ordinarily resident in Ireland for tax purposes.

The current rate (2018) of  inheritance tax or CAT in Ireland  is 33%  – (it has been this since Dec 2012) . Amounts under certain thresholds  are tax free. There are 3 different threshold levels depending on the relationship between the recipient and the donor (disponer) of the gift or inheritance.

The thresholds were increased in Budget 2019 – the levels below are valid from Oct 10th 2018 onwards .

Group A  :  the tax free threshold is  €320,000 (increased from €310,000 in Budget 2019 ),  This applies where the beneficiary is a

  • child (including adopted child, stepchild and certain foster children) or
  • minor child of a deceased child of the disponer.
  • Parents also fall within this threshold where they take an absolute inheritance  from a child.(not a gift)

Group B:  tax free threshold is €32,500. This applies where the beneficiary is a

  • brother, sister,
  • a nephew, a niece or
  • lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of the disponer  (eg grandchild).

Group C :  tax free threshold is  €16,250 and it applies in all other cases.

Example 1 :  A son inherits a house valued at €400,000 from a parent. This is €80,000 over the Group A threshold (€320,000) – so the tax bill would be 33% of €80,000 which is  €26,400

Example 2 :  Two children inherit a house worth  €800,000 .
The total inheritance tax threshold for both children is €640,000. With 33% tax on the remaining €160,000 house value, this would result in an inheritance tax bill of €52,800 in total  or  €26,400 per child.

Example 3 :  A nephew inherits a house worth €200,00. The tax free threshold (Group B) is just €32,500 – so inheritance tax will be 33% of €167,500 – which will be €55,275

Inheritance tax can result in relatives who inherit property having to sell the property to pay the inheritance tax.

Exemptions :

  1. All Gifts or inheritances from a spouse or civil partner are exempt from this tax .
  2. Since 25 December 2016. – you will be exempt from  inheritance Tax (CAT) on a house you inherit if:
  • the house was the only or main home of the person who died
  •  you lived in the house as your main home for the three years before the person’s death
  •  you do not own, have an interest or a share in any other house, including one you acquired as part of the same inheritance
  • the house is your main home for six years after you receive the inheritance. (This does not apply if you are over 65.)

More details here

If you have received a gift or inheritance, then you are responsible for paying any Capital Acquisitions Tax that is due. If you are not resident in Ireland, you must get an agent who is resident in Ireland, such as a solicitor, to take responsibility for the payment of CAT.
All gifts and inheritances with a valuation date in the 12-month period ending on the 31 August must be paid and filed by 31 October of that year.

More information:

National CAT Information Unit
City Centre/North City PAYE District
Central Revenue Information Office
Cathedral Street
Dublin 1
D01 DC77

Telephone opening hours: 10.00 to 12.30 Monday to Friday
Call  – 1890 201 104

UK Inheritance Tax
The rate of inheritance tax in the UK is  40% on anything above a £325,000  threshold .
But – the threshold doubles to £650,000 for a married couple – as long as the first person to die leaves their entire estate to their partner.

If someone owns a home – their tax-free threshold can increase to £450,000 if:

  • the home is passed on to children (including adopted, foster or stepchildren) or grandchildren,
  • the total estate is worth less than £2 million

(This is doubled to £900,000 for a married couple – as long as the first person to die leaves their entire estate to their partner)

So an example : – someone in the UK passing on a property worth £800,000 to two children. (The deceased parent is the second parent to die and the first parent to die left their entire estate to their spouse)
The total inheritance tax threshold is now £900,000 – so there is no inheritance tax bill.

A similar situation in Ireland (see above)  on a €800,000 house – would result in an inheritance tax bill of €52,800 in total  or  €26,400  per child.

2 thoughts on “Inheritance Tax in Ireland

  1. Why? can our government not make a decent threshold on CAT when a parent passes on the family home to a son or daughter. The English went a done the property inheritance in a proper manner.
    Take a daughter, living in Council house, on social welfare,she is left a house valued at 360,000, her parents and herself have no big savings, she would be in no financial position to one third of remaining 80,000 that would take her over the threshold of 280,000.
    I don’t think the government want to be aware of a parent’s nightmare of this kind of matter

  2. Do I pay Irish taxes on a property sold in Ireland ? I am living in the USA and am inheriting a portion of a property sold in Ireland. I am a nephew of the deceased.

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